What's up, Kaijudo Duelists? My name is Isaac Kupetz, and I recently took second place in the KMC at The Stadium in Bay City, Michigan! Before I start this report, I'd like to give a little background about myself. In 2011, I picked up Yu-Gi-Oh! competitively. I qualified for the NAWCQ in both 2012 and 2013, but did not attend the 2013 tournament, after selling out of the game this past March. I've been playing Kaijudo since the Tatsurion vs Razorkinder decks released, and I have adored this game from the very beginning, despite never playing Duel Masters. I have been to two previous KMCs, in which I piloted admittedly poorly constructed decks. This was my first KMC wherein I felt very comfortable and confident with my deck going into the event, and it paid off!
Now that you know a little bit about me, I'll get into the report! I ended up deciding to attend the event about a week beforehand, because other plans fell through. I had attended the ARG KMC, during which I talked to Spencer Swan about his American Dragon deck (Light Water Fire, for those not familiar with the slang!) and I instantly fell in love with the deck. I built it that same day, and I've had it together ever since!
On the Friday before the tournament, I rode up with four friends from locals: Chris, Sean, Brandon, and Peter (Pinky). After much Michigan road construction and another few obstacles, we got to our hotel at around 7:30. Shortly afterwards, Pinky– who was hesitantly dedicated to his own American Dragon build– and I began testing. After playing twelve or so mirror matches, along with about a dozen other various matches, we decided several things:
- The mirror match is a relative coin flip: whoever sees the better progression wins.
- Rush remains too fragile, and a well-timed Lyra/Jump Jets/ Bottle of Wishes can shut the game down.
- American Dragons should smash Lost Patrol Tempo
Feeling confident in our list, we went to bed around midnight; we woke up around 7:00, grabbed breakfast at the hotel, then arrived at The Stadium around 9:00. Walking around, we notice a lot of rush, so I threw in a second Infernus the Awakened. As such, this was the final list:
[ccDeck="Isaac's Main Deck"]
3 Keeper of laws
3 Lyra, the Blazing Sun
2 Stormspark Blast
3 Andromeda of the Citadel
3 Aqua Strider
3 Piercing Judgment
3 Bottle of Wishes
3 General Finbarr
2 Heretic Prince Var-Rakka
2 Jump Jets
3 Herald of Infernus
2 General Skycrusher
2 Infernus the Awakened[/ccDeck]
Almost all names escape me, so forgive me if you see this and we played during the day and I don't mention your name!
Round 1 vs Blurple:
My opponent was the only female in the building, and she was new to the game, which she mentioned as we sat down and made pre-match small talk. Shuffling her deck, it felt somewhere around 60 cards.
Game 1: She mana'd a Reef Eye, so I was relatively certain it was blurple, or something of the sort. I saw a relatively decent progression, although I had to play around a Gigastand for a turn or two. I got Herald's effect off, dropped Awakened, and took the game from there.
Game 2: All I remember is dropping a Herald and then a Lyra, which led to Andromeda, Var-Rakka and Awakened on board, before swinging for game.
Round 2 vs Mono-Light Rush
Game 1: My opponent goes first and plays a turn one Magris, which is a less-than-auspicious start for me. I play a turn 2 Aqua Strider, but he follows up with a turn 3 Rodi Gale, Night Guardian, poking away at two or so shields before I drop a Nix, followed by a Herald, followed by a method to tap Rodi Gale. Infernus the Awakened hits my board while his is clear, which means my opponent has no win condition.
Game 2: My opponent drops another turn 1 Magris, and my hand's lowest-level card was Piercing Judgment. We head to Game 3 shortly after.
Game 3: A misplay here should have cost me the game. My opponent's field consisted of a Lyra'd Chasm Entangler, an untapped Cloudwalker Drone, and an untapped Prism-Blade Enforcer. I had a Lyra and a Lux on board. I play a General Skycrusher, choosing to destroy Chasm Entangler, which was, I would argue, my misplay. I should have killed the Cloudwalker and swung over the Chasm Entangler with Lux, but I forgot about Skycrusher's "Powerful Attack" effect. My opponent swung at my remaining two shields on his turn, hitting a Stormspark Blast on the last one, tapping all three of his on-board creatures. This allowed me to hardcast Infernus the Awakened and wipe his board. Had the last shield not been a Stormspark, he would have been able to play his in-hand Sparkblade Protector and attack me for game. Needless to say, I did not forget about Skycrusher's "Powerful Attack +3000" for the rest of the tournament.
Round 3 vs American Dragons (Jacob Hutchinson)
Game 1: Upon sitting down across from Jacob, it was obvious he knew what he was doing. Game 1 saw us both trying to set each other on tilt with small things and actions; it failed to work on either side. He saw a better progression, and took the game.
Game 2: We had both realized tilting the other would not work, so we were able to have some more fun with the game, joking around here and there. I saw the better progression and won game 2.
Game 3: On turn 4, I had a Lux to Jacob's Nix and Herald of Infernus. I had a Piercing Judgment in hand, but absolutely no Water mana, save for the Aqua Strider I had just drawn, which ended up being my undoing. I was unable to bounce his Herald and attack over his Nix, which resulted in him tapping my Lux, killing it with Herald, and dropping some fat dragon or other. He took the game from there, but we kept in close touch throughout the day, which I'll discuss later.
Round 4 vs Birds of War
Game 1: I had piloted Birds of War at the Akron KMC, losing out to inconsistency in the deck's draws and its forced mana decisions. This is a matchup where American Dragons generally flourishes, because dragon matches generally come down to who sees a better progression. Playing 41 cards and only 3 colors allowed me to see a good progression game 1, taking it in late game after an early Nix.
Game 2: I open triple Nix, a less-than-ideal start, but seeing Nix is still nice. The downside: I saw no dragons until turn 7, which meant my Nixes had no utility, and I wasn't about to gamble a bird onto my side of the field, against his Herald/Nix combo. He ended up winning after playing an Andromeda and an Infernus the Immolator in late game.
Game 3: I don't remember much about this, besides being able to out hand-advantage my opponent. I won the third game, which meant I could draw last round and be guaranteed a spot in Top 8.
Round 5 vs Eternal Haven (Chris Shawver)
I was paired up with my friend Chris, and we decided to ID, meaning we both had spots in Top 8 and 45 minutes to kill. Jacob Hutchinson, Pinky, and I ran to the neighboring gas station to grab some food before Top 8 started, and I called my little brother Elijah, who also plays, to let him know I had made Top 8.
Top 8 vs Birds of War (Jeff Kruchkow):
Game 1: I have a General Finbarr in hand and see some early birds and a Keeper of Laws to his empty field. I knew he was playing 4-civ dragons and he mentioned he didn't play Jump Jets, anyway, which meant I was swinging for the fences and drawing loads of cards. I won on turn 7 or so.
Game 2: This game was rather uneventful, until a hardcast bottle grabbed Jeff an Andromeda, which he followed up with another hardcast Andromeda some turns later. I couldn't keep up, and he took game 2.
Game 3: Again, I see almost nothing early game (an extreme unlikelihood for my deck), which forces me to hardcast a Bottle Of Wishes against his on-board Nix. I hit a General Skycrusher, so Jeff switches his line of play to bounce my Skrycrusher, which buys me a turn to get back into the game. Skycrusher hit again later in the game, giving me the edge and allowing me to move into Top 4.
Top 4 vs Lost Patrol Tempo (Jon Johnson):
I'll start by saying all of these games were a blast. We both made many jokes, acted goofy, and had an overall good time. Jon even tried to screw me up by getting "The Bird is the Word" stuck in my head. Good times.
Game 1: Jon sees minimal early game monsters, and I take the game without much trouble, which is all I remember.
Game 2: I make the (arguably poor) play of playing Piercing Judgment with a Keeper of Laws and Cyber Scamp on board, which allowed me to drop an Infernus the Awakened and shut out most of his plays. Jon eventually draws into his own Piercing Judgment, sets up a board with Infernus now gone, plays Squillace Scourge (a card I completely forgot Lost Patrol played), and swings for game.
Game 3: I go first and drop a Keeper of Laws on turn 4. Jon plays Logos Scan on his turn, which means his hand is absolutely abysmal. I play another early Infernus the Awakened, but this time, I swing on my turn 8, which meant that I did not have to fear a Squillace Scourge next turn when he went up to eight mana (both of his Andromedas were in his Mana Zone). I move on to Top 2, which means I have a guaranteed invite to the Winter Championship!!
Meanwhile, my pal Pinky had won his Top 8 and Top 4 matches against, respectively, F/L Rush and Jacob's American Dragons, which meant we were in the finals together. I have no need for the plane ticket, so I scoop to him, taking second overall and scoring the Fire Civilization prize pack and an invitation!
The weekend went MUCH better than I could have ever hoped, and the Winter Championships are still all I can think about. Never in a million years did I expect to be going! Now, for the obligatory props and slops:
- Sean, for safely driving 4.5 hours while dead tired
- Chris, for planning the whole trip
- Half of the Top 8 being from our group
- Infernus the Awakened winning several games
- Jump Jets, for being the absolute truth.
- The Stadium, for putting on a very smooth event and throwing in much extra prize support
- Jacob figuring out the math and telling us all we could ID at X-1
- Road construction in Michigan
- Forgetting Skycrusher's "Powerful Attack" effect and only winning Round 2 because of Stormspark Blast
Overall, it was an awesome weekend, and I can't wait to see everyone in Irving! Thanks for reading, guys, and remember, Play Hard or Go Home!!